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Thread: Zeiss ZF 18mm

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Zeiss ZF 18mm

    The Zeiss ZF Distagon T* 3,5/18mm super wide angle lens is now available in the Carl Zeiss Lens Shop in Germany, and it will of course participate at Photokina in Köln · 23. - 28. Sep 2008 · Halle 2.1, Stand C019.
    1149 EUR including lens hood.
    https://photo-shop.zeiss.com/en/Categories/Objektive/ZF
    Soo tempting

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Quote Originally Posted by bondo View Post
    The Zeiss ZF Distagon T* 3,5/18mm super wide angle lens is now available in the Carl Zeiss Lens Shop in Germany, and it will of course participate at Photokina in Köln · 23. - 28. Sep 2008 · Halle 2.1, Stand C019.
    1149 EUR including lens hood.
    https://photo-shop.zeiss.com/en/Categories/Objektive/ZF
    Soo tempting
    Mine will arrive on Friday. Report will follow.

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Mine will arrive on Friday. Report will follow.
    Hi Marc
    Just say it's bad will you please . . . . I can't afford any more lenses right now!

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    For the price of this one, it better be spectacular in every way.

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    For the price of this one, it better be spectacular in every way.
    Of course, but you've no need to SAY it's good :-)

    Just this guy you know

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    Senior Member deepdiver's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    I'm looking forward to see some sample from this lens on Nikon D3

    Andree
    Leica M9 | SE 18 | Lux 24 | Lux 50 | ZM 35 | Nikon D700 | 35/1.8 | 45 PC-E | 50/1.4 | 70-200 VR II | SB 800+600 |SF 58|

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Mine will arrive on Friday. Report will follow.
    Mine too

    Woody

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Marc, Please shoot with this lens against the Sun to check if it is as flare resistant as Zeiss claim.

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Will do.

    It better be flare resistant I'll be shooting a lot of vintage, Chrome ladened Detroit Iron.

    Rather than a D3, I'll be shooting with a D700 this weekend ... but still FX (if I don't take the 203/CFV.)

    The idea of the Zeiss/D700 is that whole package is small and more mobile.

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Well, if it's anywhere close to the ZM 18 then it's bound to be good.

  11. #11
    tetsrfun
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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Interesting, B&H list the $ prices as the same as the German Euro price. >$300 less expensive in US?

    Steve

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    On FM there is a 'discussion' (actually not too moronic initially - sadly there is real Zeiss fanboy clique building over there) on the 18 that got VERY interesting when a chap who doesn't post often and who is (unbeknownst to most) a lens designer apparently popped up with some comments.

    His view is that the 18 is likely not well corrected for lateral CA - based on the MTF charts.

    As you'd expect, a lot of self-proclaimed experts got their knickers in a twist re: using MTF to judge CA, then oddly enough shut up real fast when it was pointed out by someone that the poster in question was a lens designer (for whom, no idea).

    His comments (username brianc1959) on judging CA from MTF which I found interesting:


    "When you stop down a lens all aberrations are reduced except for distortion and lateral color.

    Distortion doesn't affect MTF. Lateral color does affect the MTF very strongly, but only the tangential curve in the outer parts of the field.

    So if you look at a series of MTF curves for different apertures of a lens with lateral color you will see the sagittal curve improving much faster in the outer parts of the field than the tangential curve as you stop down.

    If both the tangential and sagittal curves improve similarly as the f/# increases then its a sure bet that the lens has little or no lateral color. The MTF curves for the 21mm Distagon at f/2.8 and f/5.6 show this behavior.

    There are caveats and complications to this explanation, but the basic idea is correct"

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Woody and Marc love to hear your comments on the 18mm. I am still in debate to go get a D700 but if there is a good 18mm than that may push me a little more. As far as the guy from FM which I know who he is and certainly do not trust his opinion on anything photographic. Sorry but I have dealt with him before and his tests are always by his beliefs and not fact. I trust my members and if Woody and Marc say it is good than that is all I need to hear.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Interesting to hear that Guy. I don't know the chap.
    As you say, looking at it based on charts is one thing - need to hear what real-life delivers. Found the concept of CA vs MTF interesting.
    That said, based on the 35/2 and 100/2 I owned, I would suspect some CA will creep into things - whether it matters or not we'll have to see what Woody and Marc say.

    Guy - no interest in the 14-24G?

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Yes from all reports the 14-24 and what I have seen is actually better than the 24-70 but the thing is a monster. i would like a 18mm and a new prime 35mm for Nikon. Maybe a new 24mm prime also. Nikon just has a few holes in the lens lineup but since the D3 they are getting very aggressive to bring new product. I have a feeling we will hear from Nikon again next month at Photokinia
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Figured the size was the hold-back. Assuming Nikon lays out a lens plan, as many suspect at PK, things will get very interesting.

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Hi Guy,

    I believe that you've mixed up the individuals on FM. I believe that the poster, brianc1959, is different from your old nemesis brainiac, who was a very obstinate fellow. This new poster, does appear to know what he is talking about at first glance.

    Kurt

  18. #18
    iekiek
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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Hi,
    I am new here. I am pretty sure "Brian1959" is the designer of the Coastal Optics
    U.V.Lenses. He posts in "NikonGear" and is a veru knowlagable fellow when it comes to lenses.

    Ihor

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Thanks folks than my bad . I do have the two mixed up. But let's see some real images. MTF charts are only part of the story behind a lens. I had the Zeiss 18mm for my M8 and it did rock. Hopefully the same on the Nikon mount.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  20. #20
    Paul.R.Lindqvist
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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Will be interesting to see how it fairs against the 14-24/2,8. .-)

    Ill post some images when i get the time, just got home from a trip to gotland, and found out that the 18mm ZF arrived 1 day after i left... .-)
    Last edited by Paul.R.Lindqvist; 15th August 2008 at 09:35.

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Interesting - The F-mount Coastal Optics APO 60/4 UV/IR, etc etc Macro is reportedly nothing short of jaw-dropping stunning based on reviews from Bjorn and Lloyd C. Drool.

    http://diglloyd.com/diglloyd/free/Co...0f4/index.html

    http://www.naturfotograf.com/index2.html

    Of course at $4000 a copy, it'd better be bloody good. Assuming 'he' is who 'we' think he is (J. Brian Caldwell, Ph.D., of Caldwell Photographic Inc./CO) it's hilarious to watch the arm-chair optical savants continue to argue with the guy.

    Edit - from Imaging Resource note about the CO 60 APO:
    ----------------------
    "About Caldwell Photographic Inc.
    Caldwell Photographic Inc. specializes in innovative lens design, opto-mechanical product development, precision optical engineering, and consulting services.

    Contact Brian Caldwell at [email protected] for more information"

    Quote Originally Posted by iekiek View Post
    Hi,
    I am new here. I am pretty sure "Brian1959" is the designer of the Coastal Optics
    U.V.Lenses. He posts in "NikonGear" and is a veru knowlagable fellow when it comes to lenses.

    Ihor
    Last edited by robmac; 15th August 2008 at 09:59.

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    It's here. I've done my usual walk around the yard with it.

    Color rendering is Zeiss all the way. Dramatic W/A as expected. Little to no barrel distortion, which was unexpected. Crisp look. Nice rounded highlight background Bokeh when shooting @ 3.5 up close. Flare is well controlled ... shot straight into the sun and the image retained normal contrast but I got a arc just above the sun ... need to shoot it in darker conditions with a strong light source. Some red edged CA where super highlights butt against dark hard edges , but not visable very much @ 100%.

    I also have the 14-24 monster I use for weddings on the D3. This is the W/A solution for a much smaller personal kit using the D700.

    May take it to the Dream Cruise tomorrow ... unless I opt for the 203/CFV.

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Excellent - thanks.

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Woody and Marc love to hear your comments on the 18mm. I am still in debate to go get a D700 but if there is a good 18mm than that may push me a little more. As far as the guy from FM which I know who he is and certainly do not trust his opinion on anything photographic. Sorry but I have dealt with him before and his tests are always by his beliefs and not fact. I trust my members and if Woody and Marc say it is good than that is all I need to hear.
    Guy

    I will provide feedback and some images late in the weekend. At the moment we are having the traditional August monsoons and it is impossible to stay out long enough to shoot anything sensible.

    Phyically my first impressions are very favorable. The lens seems to have extremely good build quality, focusing ring very very smooth and the size is not intimidating at all. Seems almost tiny when I compare to R glass 15 3.5 and or 2.8. So off to a good start but the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. Stay tuned

    Woody

  25. #25
    Paul.R.Lindqvist
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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    I havent had time to go out with the lens as of yet, hopefully later today (if the weather allows it) or tomorrow.

    Until then here are some quick snaps of the lens it self. .-)








    Initial impression is as to be expected when it comes to build and handling, rendering is also "typical" Zeiss.
    Last edited by Paul.R.Lindqvist; 16th August 2008 at 02:43.

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Hi Paul
    What a pretty thing.
    Nice shots too . . .
    I will not buy one, I will not buy one, I will not buy one.

    Just this guy you know

  27. #27
    Paul.R.Lindqvist
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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Jono resistance is futile... :-)

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul.R.Lindqvist View Post
    Jono resistance is futile... :-)
    Yes, I'm also starting to understand about resistance. I know the 14-24 is superb but I just can't see carrying it along with the 24-70 so the 18 gets really interesting.

  29. #29
    Paul.R.Lindqvist
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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    Yes, I'm also starting to understand about resistance. I know the 14-24 is superb but I just can't see carrying it along with the 24-70 so the 18 gets really interesting.
    I hear ya,i recently made a bike(MTB) trip to Gotland, and i brought a few lenses with me, 14-24/2,8 being one of them. I would much rather have had the 18/3,5 in my Tamrac slingshot bag when i went thru the trails thats for sure.

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    It's here. I've done my usual walk around the yard with it.

    Color rendering is Zeiss all the way. Dramatic W/A as expected. Little to no barrel distortion, which was unexpected. Crisp look. Nice rounded highlight background Bokeh when shooting @ 3.5 up close. Flare is well controlled ... shot straight into the sun and the image retained normal contrast but I got a arc just above the sun ... need to shoot it in darker conditions with a strong light source. Some red edged CA where super highlights butt against dark hard edges , but not visable very much @ 100%.

    I also have the 14-24 monster I use for weddings on the D3. This is the W/A solution for a much smaller personal kit using the D700.

    May take it to the Dream Cruise tomorrow ... unless I opt for the 203/CFV.
    Marc, Thanks for your preliminary report. I look forward to some samples.

    Here is one straight off the camera (D300, 14-24, @ 14mm, f/22, fill flash, a ~10% crop on top of the frame).



    Incidentally, the zoom lens was previously owned by Woody. (Woody, should you change your mind on the 18mm Zeiss, drop me a line.)

  31. #31
    Paul.R.Lindqvist
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    A few initial snaps from this evening

    No sharpening applied in pp, other then resized.

    F/8


    F/8


    F/3,5


    F/8


    F/8


    F/3,5


    F/8


    F/8


    F/3,5


    So far soo good, will do a controlled comparison between the 14-24/2,8 (@18mm) and the ZF 18/3,5 the coming week.

    Vignette is offcourse present and visible at wider apertures, flare is a problem when the sun is in the frame. Im not very experienced when it comes to how much flare resistant a WA can/could be, my only references are the 14-24/2,8 wich flares alot due to its design. So while its better then the 14-24/2,8 its still flares when the sun is in the frame.
    Last edited by Paul.R.Lindqvist; 16th August 2008 at 14:40.

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    Re: A few initial snaps from this evening

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul.R.Lindqvist View Post
    Vignette is offcourse present and visible at wider apertures, flare is a problem when the sun is in the frame. Im not very experienced when it comes to how much flare resistant a WA can/could be, my only references are the 14-24/2,8 wich flares alot due to its design. So while its better then the 14-24/2,8 its still flares when the sun is in the frame.
    Paul, Thanks for your samples. I disagree with your assessment that the 14-24 zoom "flares a lot due to its design". Have you tried it? Did you see my sample posted?

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    Re: A few initial snaps from this evening

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul.R.Lindqvist View Post
    No sharpening applied in pp, other then resized.

    F/8


    F/8


    F/3,5


    F/8


    F/8


    F/3,5


    F/8


    F/8


    F/3,5


    So far soo good, will do a controlled comparison between the 14-24/2,8 (@18mm) and the ZF 18/3,5 the coming week.

    Vignette is offcourse present and visible at wider apertures, flare is a problem when the sun is in the frame. Im not very experienced when it comes to how much flare resistant a WA can/could be, my only references are the 14-24/2,8 wich flares alot due to its design. So while its better then the 14-24/2,8 its still flares when the sun is in the frame.
    Hey Paul

    Where is the yellow palace. Beautiful place and reminds me of Sissy's palace in Budapest. I know it is not that palace just similar. So I would love to know where it really is.

    woody Spedden

  34. #34
    Paul.R.Lindqvist
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    Re: A few initial snaps from this evening

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Paul, Thanks for your samples. I disagree with your assessment that the 14-24 zoom "flares a lot due to its design". Have you tried it? Did you see my sample posted?
    Yes iv tried it and own it. , and your shot shows flare.

  35. #35
    Paul.R.Lindqvist
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    Re: A few initial snaps from this evening

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyspedden View Post
    Hey Paul

    Where is the yellow palace. Beautiful place and reminds me of Sissy's palace in Budapest. I know it is not that palace just similar. So I would love to know where it really is.

    woody Spedden
    Hi Woody!

    Its in Sweden/Tyresö and its called Tyresö Castle.

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    Re: A few initial snaps from this evening

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul.R.Lindqvist View Post
    Yes iv tried it and own it. , and your shot shows flare.

    That, I would not exactly describe as "flares a lot due to its lens design" .

  37. #37
    Paul.R.Lindqvist
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    Re: A few initial snaps from this evening

    What would you call it then ?

    The protruding front element is one of the main reasons its prone to flare.

    Dont get me wrong, i like the 14-24/2,8 alot, but its not perfect no lens is. And one of the compromises is flare.

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    That is just a psychological.

    IME, this zoom shows less flare than the 15mm f/4.5 C-V lens.

  39. #39
    Paul.R.Lindqvist
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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    That is just a psychological.
    LOL

    So the protuding front element that makes the lens prone to flare is in my mind?

    We disagree i think ill leave it at that. I have a couple of thousands images with the 14-24/2,8 so i quite familar with it. Most serious "reviews" also mentions this.

    Your milage may vary offcourse.

    Now back on track.

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Paul, Of course! Mileage varies according to the user.

    Here is what Bjoern Roerslett (a serious reviewer) says:

    The sophisticated nano-crystal coating applied on the inside of the front element helps reduce flare and ghosting, but eliminating these issues completely is an impossibly tall order. Having said that, I got much less flare and ghosts than with virtually any other wide lens I've used so far.

    Here: http://www.naturfotograf.com/lens_zo...tml#AFS14-24FX

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    I missed out on being able to use the ZF 18 at the Woodward Dream Cruise yesterday because on Friday afternoon we lost our power, and I had not charged the D700 batteries yet : Took the 203FE and CFV digital back instead because the batteries were charged recently ... which turned out just fine anyway

    Got power back last night and charged the D700 batteries overnight so I could take the camera and 18/3.5 and 50/2 to a Polish Festival at a fantastic old Catholic church in Hamtramck near Detroit (aka, Pole Town.)

    These are literally Cathedrals built by the working class Polish immigrants that came to make automobiles on the assembly lines in the first half of the last century. There are a slew of them there, and you can see the towering steeples all over the immediate skyline.

    Here are 5 handheld shots ... the Polish family and closer shot of the light fixture were with the ZF 50/2 Macro. The interior vistas were done with the 18mm.
    One shows a close up of a carved knob and demonstrates the nice Bokeh of the 18 @ f/3.5. The other shots were done @ ISO 1250 and ISO 3200. Believe me this church is a dungeon inside a cave in terms of light. This is a more relevant test of the 18mm for me because that's where I will most likely use it ... in a poorly lit church while shooting a wedding. I would also use it when traveling ... times when I sure don't want to lug around the 14-24/2.8 no matter how good it is.

    BTW, the Polish food was outstanding ...
    Last edited by fotografz; 6th November 2008 at 15:30.

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    I got my 18 3.5 on Friday and today it finally stopped raining so I could take a few shots. Please understand that these were all take while walking my 80 pound dog so the pictures are really poor but do show a fair amount about the lens.

    Firstly I couldn't find a trace of CA in any of the pictures and i looked hard.

    Secondly I wanted to check flare and the image looking up the road towards the clouds was intended to do this. The sun is at the top left 1/3 of the picture, just out of frame. I could do a more torturous test by getting the sun at a lower angle and actually include at least part of it in the frame. But in this image, I get no noticeable flare and the image contrast remains good.

    Colors to me are typical Zeiss which means good. Not Leica but good.

    So for a 20 minute walk with numerous distractions here are at least a few images which take a first, non critical, look at the Zeiss 18 3.5.

    The size and weight are a big plus over the 14-24 even though there are some serious advantages to the zoom.

    Hope this helps those who are looking at this lens as a possible add on to their Nikon kit.

    Woody
    Last edited by woodyspedden; 17th August 2008 at 15:44.

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    I can't see myself carrying the 14-24. So, this is really quite interesting to me. I have made one promise to myself and that is absolutely nothing new before Photokina so come fall it may end up in my bag. I don't think I will miss 14mm and I start at 24 so 18mm might be the right focal length.

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    BTW, I realize I didn't editorilize concerning my opinion of these Zeiss lenses ...

    I FREAKIN' LOVE THEM !

    I have all the latest Nikon glass but there is a 3D quality I have always loved about the Zeiss results from day one using them on a Contax 35mm ... way back in the stone age.

  45. #45
    Super Duper
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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Marc,
    The church shots are wonderful. Any special tips in staying so perfect in your alignment?

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    Senior Member helenhill's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    FAB shots Marc......under the Zeiss Spell
    Best- H

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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    Marc,
    The church shots are wonderful. Any special tips in staying so perfect in your alignment?
    The D700 has that horizon thingy in the viewfinder. I also know I am prone to off kilter shots if I don't pay attention

  48. #48
    Paul.R.Lindqvist
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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Nice captures Marc!

    What beautiful church!

    Woody, i really like that capture of the road goin into the horizon.

    Kindest

  49. #49
    Subscriber Member mwalker's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    Gezzz ...I 'm just about to pull the trigger on a Nikon 14 -24.....is it that massive? Do any of you regrete the purchase the 14-24?
    Last edited by mwalker; 18th August 2008 at 13:29.
    Mike

    website under construction

  50. #50
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    Re: Zeiss ZF 18mm

    The zoom is massive but really worth it.

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